It’s been so long since I last posted, that I forgot how to start…Um…So I just flew in from New York and boy are my arms tired..Thank you! I’ll be here all week…and remember to tip your waitress.
How was that? It was weird, I know…sorry.
Anyway, to make up for it I present you with these here mighty fine brownies. Brownie recipes are like a dime a dozen, every cook book has at least one, and yet for some reason most people would rather reach for a boxed mix. Why is that? I think it’s partly because most people get lazy in the kitchen, and looks for shortcuts, but I gotta be honest with you, there’s something about the texture of boxed brownies. They’re soft, mushy, and somewhere in between fudge and cake, it’s something magical. So why am I here trying to convince you to make your own home-made brownies? Well, for one, I’m a firm believer that no matter what, it’s always better to make it yourself. I feel that part of what’s wrong with the way we eat, is that “home-made” is more the exception than the rule, but I digress. However, I think the main reason why you should make these is because they taste so much better than the boxed stuff. They’re flavor is so much more complex, they’re chocolaty-er, and plain old tastier than the other stuff, I promise. I dare you to make these, and tell me that they are not better than duncan hines…go on, I dare you.
Ok, now that you’re on board, let’s go.
I got this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen, and one of the things that make this recipe unique is the type of fat used. Fats can pretty much be either saturated or unsaturated. You can imagine a fat molecule like a row in a parking lot, and instead of cars, we’re dealing with hydrogen atoms. When a fat is saturated, every slot is taken, and there are no openings, when a fat is un-saturated, there are open slots for the taking. These open slots in the molecule, causes the molecule to bend in certain ways, and when the molecules line up on top of each other, they don’t really fit well, and therefore they become a liquid. As opposed to saturated fats, when these molecules line up on top of each other, they fit perfectly together, and therefore are solid. So back to our brownies – basically, traditional recipes call for making brownies with more saturated fats (like butter) than unsaturated, but by switching that ratio up, and using more unsaturated fats, the end result is a fudgier, mushier, splendid-er brownie, and let’s be honest, isn’t that what you came here for??
Truth be told, there’s a lot more to talk about in the subject of fats, like the difference between mono and poly unsaturated fats, or the whole trans fat thing, but I can tell you’re thinking to yourself, I’ve been reading this for like 20 minutes already, and we haven’t even started making anything yet?! Get on with it!
All right, start by melting some margarine, and set aside (the original recipe called for butter, but I wanted to keep this parve). In a large mixing bowl, combine dutch process cocoa powder, and instant coffee powder, and pour boiling water over it, and mix to combine.
While the water is still hot, add the chopped up unsweetened chocolate, and whisk until melted.
Then add in the melted margarine, and oil and mix it together. Then add in your eggs, yolks, vanilla, and stir until homogenous, and then add in your sugar, and mix until fully incorporated.
Then add your flour, salt, and bittersweet chocolate, and fold with a rubber spatula, until it just comes together, making sure not to over mix it.
One thing, you know the whole mise en place thing? Having all your ingredients prepared before you start working? Well I never have my act together enough to do that, but in this case I recommend it, especially for the part where we poured the hot water over the cocoa, and then added the chocolate chunks, it will make your life that much less miserable.
Pour it into a 9 x 13 pan, and bake at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Let cool for at least an hour, embrace your inner fat guy, and shove the brownie into your face by the shovel-full.
For those who were keeping count, there are three different types of chocolates. We have our dutched processed, our unsweetened, and our bittersweet chunks that are like little surprise chocolate bombs hidden throughout the brownie, you won’t find that in those boring boxed mixes, and really this whole thing doesn’t take that long to put together.
Now because you were good today, and you kept up with my ramblings, and you stuck by my side while I went awol the past few weeks, I’m going to leave you with the best part:
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
- 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate , finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted margarine (or butter), melted
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups (17 1/2 ounces) sugar
- 1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate , cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Preheat oven to 350, and prepare your 9×13 pan.
- Whisk cocoa, instant coffee and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth.
- Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.
- Whisk in melted margarine and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.)
- Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous.
- Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated.
- Add flour and salt and fold with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.
- Pour batter into prepared 9×13 pan, and bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.
- Allow to cool for an hour, and enjoy.